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America’s Munitions 1917-1918


This work came at the request of the Secretary of War: WASHINGTON, D. C., DECEMBER 24, 1918. Dear Mr. Crowell: American munitions production, which for some time has been in your charge, played an important pa.rt in the early decision of the war, yet the very immensity and complexity of the problem has made it difficult for this accomplishment to be adequately understood by the public or in fact by any except those who have had occasion to give the matter special study. As the whole people have been called upon to make sacrifices fer the war, all the people should be given an opportunity to know what has been done in their behalf in munitions production, and I therefore ask that you have prepared a historical statement of munitions product¬≠ion, so brief that all may have time to read it, so nontechnical that all may be able readily to understand it, and so authoritative that all may rely upon its accuracy. Cordially yours, NEWTON D. BAKER Secretary of War Crowell began: Except in one or two instances, this account of the production of munitions in America for the war against Germany and her allies contains nothing about secret devices invented during the period under discussion. When the necessity for silence with respect to vital matters brought about a voluntary censorship in American publications, the land was filled with rumors of new and revolutionary developments in war materiel, particularly of new weapons of offense. It is fair to the American public today to state that such rumors were not. without foundation. American inventiveness rose splendidly to the emergency. The expected American offensive in 1919 would have had its “surprises” in numbers, some of which might well have proved to be decisive. Certain of these inventions had been put in large production before the armistice was declared, others had been carried to an advanced experimental stage that insured their success. Since the value of these innovations as part of the Nation’s permanent military assets depends largely upon their secret nature, it would be obviously unwise to mention or describe them at this time. . . .

820 pages

Categories: All Books, Miscellaneous, World War I


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